Opening Day is only a day away. And while the outlook on the Colorado Rockies’ season may not exactly be in the best of shape, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be any opportunities to make some money off of their fortune (or misfortune if we’re being completely honest). There are quite a few future bets out there with some good potential value behind them, so let’s go ahead and look at some of the more popular lines out there and see where we can cash in.
Here is a gambling preview for the 2021 Colorado Rockies
Projected Win Total: 63.5
A lot has been made of this win total already, but let’s jump in even further. It’s a fairly low number, even for some of the most pessimistic Rockies fans. But there’s a lot of validity behind the reasoning for the line:
First and foremost, PECOTA projections have the Rockies finishing the season around 60-102. FanGraphs projects the Rockies more optimistically at 67-95, tied for the 2nd worst projection in all of baseball ahead of only the Pittsburgh Pirates. Their ZiPs projections at FanGraphs last year correctly predicted a 26-34 record in the 60 game season, for what it’s worth, so the over may seem enticing given how low the total is. However, I lean on another factor in my approach to this line:
Since the beginning of the second half of the 2019 season, the Rockies have gone 53-80. That’s good enough for a win percentage of 39.8%. Extrapolate that into a 162-game season and you’re finishing with a 64-98 record. Additionally, they overachieved according to their Pythagorean W/L record on Baseball Reference, which put them at an expected record of 23-37 (this translates to a 62-100 record in a 162 game season).
Mind you, this is with Nolan Arenado on the roster and a starting rotation that’s been fairly decent for the most part. Now we need to consider the following:
- Nolan is no longer on this roster
- Trevor Story is very likely to be traded before the deadline
- Gray and/or Marquez would be very likely to be traded as well
- Kyle Freeland will miss at least a month due to a shoulder strain
- Scott Oberg will miss this season as his career is now in jeopardy due to blood clots
More from Rox Pile
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
A lineup without Arenado and Story would be devastating for a team who put up a wRC+ of 76 last year (and 86 the season prior). A rotation potentially without Marquez, Gray, and Freeland would be, well, just a group of guys. A Rockies bullpen without Scott Oberg is, well, what we saw last season.
Nothing is lining up that would make me feel comfortable in taking the over. On top of all the internal issues that the Rockies are having, both the Padres and Dodgers got better in the offseason. They went 3-7 against each of San Diego and Los Angeles and they’ll be lucky to win 30% of their games against each in 2021. For reference, in 2019 they went 4-15 against the Dodgers and 11-8 against the Padres. I would expect that, against two teams that will certainly be fighting to represent the National League in the World Series, both will be closer to the 4-15 record this time around. That seven-game swing against the Padres, when we compare to the Rockies’ 2019 season, would put them right at the 64 win mark yet again (oh would you look at that).
For the over to hit, we will need to see increased production from guys like Raimel Tapia, Garrett Hampson, and Ryan McMahon. Brendan Rodgers, once back from injury, will need to make a decent impact. Daniel Bard is going to have to have the bullpen completely on lock while the rest of the bullpen works hard not to continually blow games. And C.J. Cron will need to perform similarly to how he is right now in spring training. But that’s a lot to ask from a lot of guys that have not been consistent in the past.
You never really want to bet against your own team, but I just don’t see it and I’m not comfortable saying they’ll be any bit good this season.
Additionally, this line hasn’t even budged an inch even with the recent injuries from Kyle Freeland, Brendan Rodgers, and Scott Oberg. It’s like it’s telling us that nothing even mattered anyways.
I recommend taking Under 63.5 wins at -112.